Flaboo! ethics of promo-codes?

Member
Posts: 110
Joined: 2009.07
Post: #1
I know this might not be the place to ask this, as it's not a tech question, but I can't think of where else to post it, as it's definitely iPhone specific.

I've just finished [url=http://itunes.apple.com/app/flaboo/id342920124?mt=8 "]Flaboo![/url] (thanks to all those who helped out during its development), and am now receiving random requests for promo-codes in return for - presumably positive - app-store reviews. These are not from review sites, but random guys with aol addresses. This strikes me as ethically questionable. Has anyone experienced the same thing? If so, how did you handle it? I'm concerned that a flat refusal could lead to troll-reviewing.

As ever, any advice appreciated. Apologies to the mods if there's a more appropriate forum here for this kind of query.

http://www.fluttermind.com
Fluttermind - Games for Everyone
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 384
Joined: 2002.08
Post: #2
Have not experienced this particular scenario... Typically I have used promo codes for review copies to legitimate press sites, and as a reward to testers. Of course, if a tester was willing enough to test your app, giving that person a free code probably guarantees a positive review. However, I think the reward of a free copy of the app is acceptable. Do you agree?

Seems like for random people who are not associated with the press, this is just strange... you may get a positive review, you may not, but they definitely get a free copy of the game. A different, but perhaps more clearly answered, question: Do you want to give out your free promo codes to random people who may otherwise purchase your app?

If they simply want a free copy, I doubt they would be willing to spend their hard earned money just to downrate an app.

KB Productions, Car Care for iPhone/iPod Touch
@karlbecker_com
All too often, art is simply the loss of practicality.
Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 73
Joined: 2009.03
Post: #3
I have experienced this with my first app "Stranded Without A Phone".

I looked at each request individually. I asked for links to other reviews that the person has done and judged the validity based on the quality of the site and reviews. Most of the time they will provide a link to the site that the review will be posted on, so you don't even have to request it. If you don't like what you see, just ignore the e-mail. I've probably ignored about 30% of requests.

On the other hand, you also have the opposite ethical problem. There is at least one site that requests money (though not much) in order for them to write a "featured review". Maybe users don't know it's paid for, but paying for a review AND giving away a promo code is more questionable than just giving away a promo code.

All in all, I've been pretty happy with the coverage I've gotten from the promo codes I've passed out.
Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 110
Joined: 2009.07
Post: #4
Indeed - the lack of any legitimacy behind these requests seemed a bit odd. Ignoring and hoping they go away seems the best option. Thanks.

http://www.fluttermind.com
Fluttermind - Games for Everyone
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 335
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #5
You'll get a lot of them unfortunately. 99.99% of them are from apptards after freebies. Promo codes are best kept for friends and serious reviewers.
Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 446
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #6
Zwilnik Wrote:You'll get a lot of them unfortunately. 99.99% of them are from apptards after freebies.
LOL apptards...

I had to disable PM's on Touch Arcade 'cause most of them went along the lines of "can i has promo code?". A lot of these same people hoard and trade codes - they might not even want your game, and the code you give them might not even get used.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 3,572
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #7
Frank C. Wrote:apptards...

Yeah that's a good one. I heard it a few months ago myself and almost died laughing. LOL

Also funny: freetards and appholes
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 335
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #8
Brian Greenstone coined the phrase in a talk a while back and I'm in total agreement on its usage Smile

The latest level of 'fun' on the TA PM system is getting messages from forum users on there asking devs if they'll write their game for them and offering a $10 iTunes voucher as payment. I won't rip into them because I was 12 once too, but it does show the low value that a lot of wanabee devs and testers put on iPhone games.
Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 446
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #9
Zwilnik Wrote:The latest level of 'fun' on the TA PM system is getting messages from forum users on there asking devs if they'll write their game for them and offering a $10 iTunes voucher as payment.
Or (paraphrasing): "Me and my team are making an iPhone game and we think you would be great to do the graphics and programming. It's going to be a hit for sure, and we can split the profits!"

At least these guys aren't expecting something for nothing Wink
Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 110
Joined: 2009.07
Post: #10
Zwilnik Wrote:Brian Greenstone coined the phrase in a talk a while back and I'm in total agreement on its usage Smile

The latest level of 'fun' on the TA PM system is getting messages from forum users on there asking devs if they'll write their game for them and offering a $10 iTunes voucher as payment. I won't rip into them because I was 12 once too, but it does show the low value that a lot of wanabee devs and testers put on iPhone games.

Wow. I just received one of those PMs from TA, too: "Do you have any promo codes? I'd love to give this game a 5 star review." Yeech.

http://www.fluttermind.com
Fluttermind - Games for Everyone
Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 352
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #11
I don't get a huge number of these but I have had them.
My promo code giveaways have always been - email me the name of a game you reviewed, and the username you used to review it, then I'll give you a code. It has resulted in around 80% of reviews coming in from promo code users. Much better, I suspect, than just posting codes in the forums for people to grab. When someone emails me out of the blue I simply ask for the same thing - if they can provide details of a review they've done I'll give them a code. More often than not it's just about if they're willing to come back to you in an email then they probably legitimately want to play your game. I also assume a lot of these people won't buy even if I don't give them a code.
Quote this message in a reply
Nibbie
Posts: 1
Joined: 2009.12
Post: #12
As a consumer who relies on reviews To make an informed purchase I think it's unfair but Probably unavoidible, that said you currently have 0 reviews or ratings showing up for me (I'm in Australia) so as cool as It looks (I really dig the pawrint button) I wouldn't buy it ATM so getting those reviews right now is pretty important.
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply